Friday, 22 July 2022

Employers Seek Government Aid Due To Rising Electricity Prices

ZAGREB, 22 July 2022 - The Croatian Employers' Association (HUP) on Friday called on the government to adopt a new aid package for the enterprise sector because of an enormous rise in energy prices.

Employers are recommending four measures - to limit the price of electricity to up to €150 per megawatt-hour for all economic operators from 1 August this year to 31 December 2023; suspend from 1 August 2022 to 31 December 2023, or permanently reduce grid use charges and excise taxes; temporarily reduce charges for renewable energy sources; and reduce the income tax base by the amount of the increase in the cost of electricity for businesses compared with 2021.

"Despite the further rise in energy prices and the deteriorating state of the economy, Croatia has still not expanded its initial package of measures adopted in February, especially in regards to significant increases in prices of electricity, which is the primary source of energy for the majority of enterprises," HUP said.

It added that the enterprise sector expects further government interventions because it cannot cope with further increases in energy prices on its own any more.

Employers warned that failure by the government to mitigate the rise in electricity prices would jeopardise not only the operation of individual companies but also the growth of the entire economy.

"Without the government's intervention, enterprises will be compelled to considerably increase the prices of their products and services, which, in the present circumstances of galloping inflation, will have an additional and significant impact on the general inflation rate," HUP said, noting that the measures they are recommending do not require any direct allocations from the budget.

The enterprise sector is willing to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, but the government needs to change the present legislative framework to make it stimulating enough for companies, HUP said.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Some Zagreb Hospitality Establishments Plan to Increase Coffee Prices

February the 3rd, 2022 - Could coffee become a luxury? This Croatian custom which involves sitting around a (usually really small) cup of coffee for hours on end while putting the world to rights might be affected by the introduction of the euro as Croatia's official currency next year.

As Novac/Jutarnji writes, how we can avoid price increases is a question that is becoming more and more important as the introduction of the euro approaches. In the run up to the change, mechanisms are needed to monitor prices - such as their double expression, and, ultimately, so-called blacklists. The Croatian Government is not giving up on trying to hound this further, and it claims that it intends to denounce all those who have decided to make extra money on the back of the change unjustifiably.

It's too early to guess how much a cup of coffee will end up costing due to the introduction of the euro and the rounding off of prices. Because even before that, some Zagreb hospitality establishments will, as they say, raise their prices due to the overall higher prices of energy and raw materials.

''This year, we expect an increase in all prices due to rising energy, gas and electricity costs, as well as the already announced increase in coffee prices of 150 percent, which has been announced by some Zagreb hospitality establishments. Will coffee become a luxury now? That's the question that has arisen. The introduction of the euro in Croatia will also result in a certain price increase, Franz Letica, president of the Association of Caterers of the City of Zagreb at HOK, told HRT.

Even before the introduction of the euro, hairdressing and beauty services will become significantly more expensive, but the conversion itself should not cause too much of a price increase for the end user.

''There will be no problems in terms of recalculating prices, but it will probably involve some rounding, purely because of the simpler handling of the euros,'' said Antonija Tretinjak from the Guild of Beauticians and Pedicurists at HOK.

The growth of prices of most products is already very visible in stores. The Most (Bridge) party believes that the Croatian Government must not give up publishing a black list of traders who will unjustifiably increase their prices due to the conversion.

''What we're asking for is that this measure of publishing the list of those who unjustifiably raise prices will certainly be part of this changeover of the kuna to the euro. We also want to open the question of whether this is the time for the introduction of the euro at all,'' said Nikola Grmoja from Most.

The advantages of the introduction of the euro are multiple, says the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Tomislav Coric, and the black list will be one of the ways to prevent any unjustified price increases.

''The idea is that those who change their prices and use the time and process of conversion for one-time profit without any reason or basis should be noticed, both by consumers and institutions. What we'll do in the coming months is for that to happen and for them to be denounced,'' warned Coric.

The best way to prevent unjustified price increases is to double-check prices and keep making a note of them in the few months before the introduction of the euro.

For more, check out our business and politics sections.

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